In today's video Brendan Stoneman of Re/Max Kelowna sits down with Murray Klingbeil, Home Inspector with Amerispec, to discuss what areas of the Okanagan can be hotbeds for termites, some signs you can look for, and what to do if you suspect you may have a problem. We hope you enjoy this short video and find it helpful!
Here is the transcript of the video:
BRENDAN - Hey there, this is Brendan Stoneman with Remax Kelowna, and I'm sitting down with home inspector Murray Klingbeil of AmeriSpec. So I wanted to talk to you about termites in the Okanagan. I know there's areas of the Okanagan where it's a little more common to find them, and others not so much. So maybe you can walk us through some of the neighborhoods to really watch out for them, and talk about the mess that they can create.
MURRAY - Well my friend, there are certain neighborhoods where they are a relatively big problem. One of the hot beds for termites, locally, is Lakeview Heights. The Toovey Heights area, Bankhead store area, believe it or not, in that knoll has termite activity there fairly significant. Peachland has a lot of termites. Here locally, I would say predominantly, the Lakeview Heights area. They're starting to emerge in many areas where they've never been seen before. Let's start by saying, this is not like the Terminix commercial you see on TV, where the telephone poles are falling over, and the decks are falling off the house. A mature colony of termites, approximately 60 to 80,000 members, will eat two feet of one 2x4 a year, that's it. Takes a long time to do significant structural damage to your house, but it does happen. Also termites do not live in your house. The termites that we have here are called, subterranean termites, they live in underground colonies on your property. They only come to your home to forge for food. They eat cellulose, they like wood, they like cardboard boxes, they like the cardboard skin on drywall, anything that they can get cellulose. So the actual members that do the damage to your house are the workers. They consume the cellulose, they go back down to the nest, regurgitate it to feed the little ones, okay? So unfortunately, if you have termites it's expensive to have your house treated. The process is, they drill holes, eight feet deep on 16 inch centers, all the way around the perimeter of your house, right through your sidewalk, right through your driveway, right through your patio, and all the way around the perimeter of the interior. Right through your basement, right through your ceramic tile, right through your wood parquet, right through your carpet. Then they inject a chemical that used to be a wonderful chemical called, Dursban, that lasted a long, long time, but that one is no longer allowed to be used. So the most popular one is a called, Permethrin. So what that does, is it makes an envelope of nasty, around your house. So the boys that are showing up for work tomorrow to eat your house, they say, "Ewey, this house smells bad, "let's go to the neighbors." So it doesn't kill the termites, other than the ones that get trapped in your house, it just makes your house taste bad, and so they go to another alternate food source. So if there's anybody in your neighborhood that has termites, it's a matter of time.
BRENDAN - Yeah, oh boy. So now how do you recognize these signs of problems, or you know, potential termite issues in your home?
MURRAY - Very good question because they live underground and they die if they're exposed to the atmosphere. They're small, about the same size and consistency, color wise, as a grain of rice. So what they have to do, when they come underground and they hit your foundation wall, when they have to cross that concrete to be able to get into the wood, they have to build what's called, a shelter tube. So they use excrement, materials around the dirt, and they build this little caramel colored brown tunnel. And so that's what they use, and they build it up slowly until they can whittle into your wood. And that's the Trans Canada Highway, for the nest to there. So a homeowner can look at the perimeter, look for those. One of the most common areas I see it, is in your utility room, at the crack between the slab pour and the foundation footing. There's a gap there. Often times it's close to the furnace, it's close to the water heater so there's extra heat there. Another place that attracts them, is your freezer, downstairs because of the compressor vibrating and creating heat it's another spot for them to come. Another tall tale sign is, once or twice a year, the termites swarm, to breed and start new colonies. So if all of a sudden you got these funny looking flies in your house that you've never seen before, and you'll see them on window sills, as they're trying to get out, or in your utility room, usually on your water heater, you have termites.
BRENDAN - Wow, so then you suspect you might have a termite problem what do you do?
MURRAY - You call in a reputable pest control company, and we're very blessed, we have some great companies here in town. And they will come and take a look at the situation. They can ascertain whether it's an active colony or if it's not. And then if they decide that your house needs to be treated, you got 'em, because you're pregnant or your not. Then they have at her.
BRENDAN - Scary stuf...
MURRAY - Scary stuff.
BRENDAN - ...but very good information.
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